October 28, 2018 Subject:
Annie on My Mind review
! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK !
This book follows our main protagonist Liza Winthrop, highschool senior and aspiring architect. While on a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to work on her senior project she meets Annie Kenyon, another senior but at a different school. They instantly have a connection and decide to keep in touch. They soon become friends and start seeing each other all the time. I really liked seeing Liza's feelings toward Annie develop. You could feel from the get go that there was something there, Liza would have these thoughts about Annie, like how beautiful she was etc. . and she would quickly stop herself and forget all about them. Her confusion was really relatable. After both Liza and Annie realize their feelings they decide to be together. Of course this was not an easy decision and it was not handled lightly in the book. We got to see more of Liza's perspective on this (since she's the narrator of the story) She was mostly confused about what her feelings for Annie really entail. Like : Am I gay ? , what is homosexuality ? Is it wrong ? etc . . . There's this scene in the book where Liza looks for the word "homosexuality" in one of her father's Encyclopedias, and the article she finds talks about how it is wrong and she notices that in the entire article there was no mention of "love" and this kind of upsets her. This point was brought up in an other part of the book towards the end and I think it's a really important one. Because from what I've noticed in society (mine at least) whenever anyone thinks about homosexuality, there is this total disregard for people's feelings and emotions, while only focusing on the sexual part of it and how it is unnatural, sinful and wrong . . . And while I know that sexuality is a spectrum and that feelings (at least romantic ones) don't always have to be involved, it still upsets me that people reduce LGBTIQ+ individulas to just one thing that they believe is wrong while completly ignoring their feelings.
Another thing we got to see in this novel is how Liza and Annie's relationship develops even after they started dating, there was obviously the fact that they had to keep their relationship secret because they were not out yet to their families and still confused, going out in public was also difficult because they couldn't do what "normal" couples did, like holding hands and kissing. And then there was the whole subject of intimacy and how it was difficult for both of them to grow really comfortable in doing more than kissing, but when they finally realized that their feelings for each other were normal and they fully accepted it they were able to take the next step without feeling it was wrong.
But of course things take a turn for the worse when Liza and Annie's relationship is discovered, and people start getting involved like Liza's school administation and her parents. This whole part of the novel was infuriating to be honest but I think it was handled pretty well.
Overall this book was really mature and tackled very important topics but it still felt accessible and light with one of the most beautiful love stories I ever read in a YA book. I would defintely recommand it to anyone who enjoys romance and Young Adult literature.